5 Republican/Conservative Politicians I can tolerate

Over the last couple of weeks a lot of people have sent me….less just say less than positive responses to my thoughts about Dr. Wright and Black Pastors.  Most had never visited Dallas South prior to this.  They felt they needed to let me know that they respected good black folks  like Thomas Sowell and Clarence Thomas.

I dismissed the whole notion, but then I began to think about whether there were any Republican or Conservative types that I could roll with.  8 years ago, George W. probably would have made this list.  He was a popular governor here in Texas and did work with Democrats quite often.  That seems like 100 years ago.

Anyway, here’s what I was able to scrape up. 

5. Michael Williams

micahel-williams.jpgMichael L. Williams is the Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas, the state’s oldest energy regulatory commission. I’ve heard him speak here and there and he is always impressive in his manor (the bow ties are a nice touch also).

I continue to wonder how it is the African-Americans can move through the ranks of the Republican Party, while the Democrats seem to have some sort of glass ceiling in tact. Now that’s a bit unfair with the emergence of Barack Obama, Deval Patrick, and David Paterson. But as long as Texas was Democratic state, black folks never sniffed a position like the one Williams currently holds.

Williams no doubt tows the party line, touting the “Reagan Revolution” if you watch the video linked above. He is one of the key Black Republicans nationwide now that J.C. Watts has moved away from the public eye. Williams is the highest ranking Republican elected official in the United States.

4. Tom Leppert

leppert_tom.jpgIn 2006, Dallas Mayor came out of nowhere to become a contender for the city’s lead council person. With very little political experience and a whole lot of money, Leppert found himself in a runoff with popular councilman Ed Oakley who was running as a Democrat.

Leppert worked hard to make inroads in Southern Dallas, heavily populated by African-Americans and Hispanics. He showed up at our church so much I thought he would accept the alter call on any given Sunday.

So far so good, as Leppert has seemed willing to move the city forward and cross political lines and racial boundaries to work with those who have often been left out of Dallas politics. The Dallas convention center hotel, Trinity River Project, and Homeless Assistance Center are all projects that looking to get up and running under Leppert’s watch.

3. Robert Gates

gates.jpgI first became aware of Dr. Gates when he was appointed president of my alma mater, Texas A&M University. Appointing a George H.W. Bush crony to the presidency was no reason for me to get excited.

But during my time as an officer of A&M’s Black Former Student Network, I had a limited opportunity to see Gates operate. Those who served with me saw even more of Gates and how he handled issues like minority recruitment and retention. At A&M he proved to be a pragmatic leader who garnered as much information as possible before making decisions.

His assignment to the Iraq Study Group was no surprise with his background in foreign affairs. When George W. tapped him as Secretary of Defense, the department was in dire need of the logical/steady approach Gates brings. Pragmatism is the last word one would used to describe the Donald Rumsfeld Department of Defense. Gates has brought a measure of credibility back to the Department, yet there are still few signs of true progress in Iraq.

2. Colin Powell

colin-powell.jpgThis is an easy one. Who doesn’t like Colin Powell (besides Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheyney)?

Oren Harari’s The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell paints a great picture of why Americans think so highly of General Powell. Polls throughout the late ninety’s and aughts showed Powell would have made a strong presidential candidate, for either party.

The one blemish on the ledger of Colin Powell is the role he played in the run up to the War in Iraq. He used suspect intelligence gathered by a trigger happy administration to make a case for going to war.

Where he proved right was his theory on using “overwhelming” force against the enemy. While we go back and forth about troop surges, Powell argued from the beginning that more than 200,000 American troops would be needed to get the job done in Iraq. It’s a shame that Powell’s voice and experience were not counted on in such critical decisions.

1. Condoleezza Rice

condoleezzacondirice2005.jpgI like Condi. What can I say? Yes she’s a war hawk. I get that. Yes her job is to make the least learned President in American history appear that he has a clue. God Bless her for that.

She’s a child of the segregated south, and a classmate of one of the four girls killed in the Birmingham Church bombing. Her preparation and intelligence are unmatched in the Bush White House, and she has gained the respect of the nation and the world.

But again, I think the ONE positive thing that I can say about the Bush Administration is that African-Americans have had significant role in these two failed terms (maybe that’s not positive). The truth of the matter is we have never seen an African-American female with this much political clout and God knows when we will see it again.

Rice has had her fair share of dust ups with the true hawks in the administration (Cheney and Rumsfeld). Where Powell was eventually forced out, Rice stood her ground against Rummy and Cheyney and has helped Bush spin his wheels in a different direction. Again, not sure how much anyone could have done to save this man’s presidency, but after 8 years of Condoleezza, I’ve come around.


You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *